Has Bristol got what it takes to become Europe's Green Capital?

A win could attract millions of pounds worth of investment to the city Credit: ITV West Country

Tonight is the night when Bristol will learn whether it is to become European Green Capital 2014. In an awkward piece of timing, the announcement will be made in Spain at 8.30pm on a Friday evening ... but somehow that merely increases the tension. I am told council offiicials have been holding meetings simply to check whether everyone else is as nervous as they are!

Although not as well-known (or as longstanding) as the Capital of Culture Award - which Bristol missed out on in 2008 - this is considered a highly prestigious accolade at a time when the environmental agenda is becoming stronger and more economically important. Out of 18 cities that submitted entries, Bristol has made it to the final three - an achievement in itself. However the other two, Copenhagen in Denmark, and Frankfurt in Germany, are very strong rivals.

Bristol has a good record of recycling and encouraging cycling and solar power. Credit: ITV West Country

So what are the judges looking for? The contest rewards a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards; setting ambitious goals to improve them stil further; and acting as a role model for other cities. Bristol will point to its excellent record on recycling, transport management and encouraging cycling and solar power.

Bristol faces tough competition in the final from Copenhagen in Denmark and Frankfurt in Germany Credit: ITV West Country

With organisations such as Sustrans and the Soil Association already based here, it has a good reputation for attracting and developing environmental innovation.

There is no cash prize for winning - but to do so should help attract investment and further enhance the "quality of life" agenda that is a strong aspect of Bristol's bid.